According to data released by National Center for Learning Disabilities, five per cent of children in the United States are diagnosed with learning disabilities. Another fifteen per cent kids suffering from learning disabilities do not identify themselves. Fortunately, gadgets are helping these kids to deal with leaning issues.
Moving away from paper to digital format has definitely proved beneficial for people with learning and writing disabilities. Let’s take a look at some points to know what experts think about the same.
Thousands of apps to choose from
Jaqueline Hess, the director of Washington based “Family Center on Technology and Disability” develops programs that create awareness about learning disabilities. She suggests, tablet PCs and smart phones are blessing in disguise for students with learning disabilities. She finds speech-to-text, and text-to-speech apps as very useful and interactive tools for children with special needs.
On being asked about best apps, Jaqueline Hess highlighted the point that there are thousands of apps to help kids with various disabilities. So, the range is too broad to select the best.
Assistive Technology Industry Association’s CEO David Dikter, also shared similar opinion. He pointed out that app developing industry has grown huge during the last five years. This has resulted in massive innovations in the field of assistive technology.
Even big brands are releasing their apps to help disabled kids
Tools in the form of apps are also helping kids to cope in complicated social situations. Even brands like Samsung are spending millions to develop apps for children. The company has recently released its Android app called “Look At Me.” This app is designed to help kids suffering from autism. It helps kids to communicate with other people, and also helps them in reading emotions.
Technology and instructions go hand-in-hand
According to assistive technology instructor Shelley Lacey-Castelot, many students suffering from dyslexia face problems in translating printed content into words, and word decoding. Text-to-word and word-to-text apps for smart phones and tablet PCs make life easy for such students.
Shelley believes that technology alone won’t be able to help children with special needs. Tech should be combined with skillfully provided instructions to benefit and guide disabled kids
Can assistive technology prove to be a crutch?
Karen Janowski works as assistive technology consultant. Keren suggests that anxiety, frustration and anger can easily grip kids who suffer from learning disabilities. These kids also struggle while decoding, comprehending, and retrieving information. This is where assistive technology proves to be life saver. Karen believes, technology can never be termed as a “crutch” as it helps people with disabilities. It promotes independence, mastery, confidence and success.
Some users do feel awkward while using gadgets in the class
20 year old Ellie Quinn-Alger studies at Milton town based Curry College, and she suffers from dyslexia. Ellie agreed to interact with journalists’ in-order to share her experience related to use of technology for leaning.
Ellie is using assistive technology since eighth grade. She has used iPad apps like Read2Go, Voice Dream Reader and PC based speech-to-text programs like Dragon Naturally Speaking. Ellie also uses smart pens like LiveScribe.
Ellie suggests, Voice Dream Reader has helped her to write independently during her classes. She does not need any instructor to help her. She said, initially she did feel awkward while using her tablet PC inside the class. But situation improved with time.